Call to re-open Wellington train station

Mark Formosa and Cllr Janet Reed on the Tonedale railway bridge

Mark Formosa and Cllr Janet Reed on the Tonedale railway bridge

First published in Wellington & Wiveliscombe by

A 'TRAINS for Wellington’ campaign is being recommended to Wellington Town Council by Mark Formosa, the aspiring Conservative MP for Taunton Deane.

The recent campaign launch came 45 years after Wellington’s railway station was closed in 1964 under what was known as ‘Beeching’s Axe’.

Trains for Wellington aims to see the opening of a station become a realistic prospect by 2014, which will be the 50th anniversary of the closure.

The town council will debate the issue at its meeting in Wellington United Reform Church Hall next Monday when it will be proposed by the town’s deputy mayor, Cllr Janet Reed.

Mark Formosa said: “Wellington is the largest town on the Westcountry to Paddington main line not to have its own railway station.

“Despite this, the county council seems to have done nothing at all about it, even though they included it in their 2006-2011 local transport plan.

“Now, they are rolling the project forward into their new transport plan, which could delay it until 2026 - a wait of another 14 years.

“I believe the time has come for a concerted effort by the community to ensure the project is given higher priority and that is why I am asking the town councillors to take it up.

“I hope this can be a cross-party initiative in similar fashion to the way town councillors have taken up the push for a northern distributor road for Wellington after I revived the idea in 2007.

“We need to get a grassroots movement behind Trains for Wellington and I think the 50th anniversary of the station’s closure is a suitable date on which to set our sights.

“Research shows it is feasible to at least install a ‘loop line’ for a local shuttle service between Wellington and Taunton. After that, we can look at further expansion of the service.”

Cllr Reed said: “In my youth, I used to catch trains from Wellington’s station to go to the beach and other places, and I would really like to be able to do so again.

“The town has grown significantly over the past 45 years since the station was closed and there is massive potential for train services in Wellington.

“I will be pointing out to my fellow councillors that the county council have broken their promise to work with Devon County Council with a view to opening stations for both Wellington and our near neighbours in Cullompton.

“We need to get the county council and other agencies to sit down with us and start putting together a realistic project timetable for giving us the railway station Wellington deserves.”

Comments (3)

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10:41pm Wed 1 Apr 09

Outraged of Oake says...

I have news for Cllr Reed who said; Cllr Reed said: “In my youth, I used to catch trains to go to the beach and other places, and I would really like to be able to do so again. There is a train station in Taunton - 7 miles away - you still can go to beach.

I have news for Cllr Reed who said; Cllr Reed said: “In my youth, I used to catch trains to go to the beach and other places, and I would really like to be able to do so again. There is a train station in Taunton - 7 miles away - you still can go to beach. Outraged of Oake
  • Score: 0

9:57am Thu 2 Apr 09

Bristolbred says...

I notice that the aspiring Conservative MP for Taunton Deane, has forgotten a couple of things with regard to the re-opening of Wellington station. He has failed to include the cost in the article, of the feasibility study to see whether or not it would be a viable proposition to open the station, as most people in Somerset are now part of the car owning population who don't even make use of their local bus routes, so would it really be value for money?, and then, what would the cost be to actually rebuild the station, bearing in mind, access to it, amenities, noise pollution, added wear & tear on the trains stopping there, etc. And then the part where he states "Research shows it is feasible to at least install a ‘loop line’ for a local shuttle service between Wellington and Taunton" is totally misguided pie in the sky, as it would NOT be feasible, IN FACT it would be a non starter, due to the cost of having First Great Western "waste" a class 153 unit on an under used shuttle service, and the added cost to provide the train crew, whereby this idea could actually be used on the already timetabled Bristol Temple Meads to Taunton service. Not playing Devils Advocate here, but not much thought has gone into this plan. Remember, who "privatised" the railways in the first place, and the money wasted since it's instigation. And i wonder if the near neighbours in Cullompton have given equal thought to the reopening of their station?. There are quite a few places nationwide, with bigger populations, like Ashby de la Zouch and Cosham that are without a rail connection, which have so far, failed to gain the right finance, or permission to re-open, mainly due to cost. And both have been used as a political tool in the past, and we all know, that politics and the railways should be kept apart. And the National Audit Office would not see the reopening of Wellington station as value for money for the tax payer. Maybe Mark Formosa could use less money to provide a connecting bus service with Taunton/Tiverton Parkway & Bridgwater?.
I notice that the aspiring Conservative MP for Taunton Deane, has forgotten a couple of things with regard to the re-opening of Wellington station. He has failed to include the cost in the article, of the feasibility study to see whether or not it would be a viable proposition to open the station, as most people in Somerset are now part of the car owning population who don't even make use of their local bus routes, so would it really be value for money?, and then, what would the cost be to actually rebuild the station, bearing in mind, access to it, amenities, noise pollution, added wear & tear on the trains stopping there, etc. And then the part where he states "Research shows it is feasible to at least install a ‘loop line’ for a local shuttle service between Wellington and Taunton" is totally misguided pie in the sky, as it would NOT be feasible, IN FACT it would be a non starter, due to the cost of having First Great Western "waste" a class 153 unit on an under used shuttle service, and the added cost to provide the train crew, whereby this idea could actually be used on the already timetabled Bristol Temple Meads to Taunton service. Not playing Devils Advocate here, but not much thought has gone into this plan. Remember, who "privatised" the railways in the first place, and the money wasted since it's instigation. And i wonder if the near neighbours in Cullompton have given equal thought to the reopening of their station?. There are quite a few places nationwide, with bigger populations, like Ashby de la Zouch and Cosham that are without a rail connection, which have so far, failed to gain the right finance, or permission to re-open, mainly due to cost. And both have been used as a political tool in the past, and we all know, that politics and the railways should be kept apart. And the National Audit Office would not see the reopening of Wellington station as value for money for the tax payer. Maybe Mark Formosa could use less money to provide a connecting bus service with Taunton/Tiverton Parkway & Bridgwater?. Bristolbred
  • Score: 0

9:45pm Wed 8 Apr 09

robinpayne says...

I think opening a railway station in Wellington is a FANTASTIC IDEA! for a number of reasons; 1. Wellington is growing, will continue to grow (like it or not) and needs quick economical alternative access to Taunton and Exeter for commuters. 2. Would increase tourism visits, especially to the Monument, market town shops, Farmers Market, Museum, Food Town events that we promote. 3. Would reduce the towns carbon emissions. 4. The world is running out of oil and we all need and will be be forced to use communal transport to get about (either by bus or train). 5. Older, disabled and not everyone can use a car, so trains and buses help keep people connected. 6. The local environment would become more healthy for wildlife and nicer to live in. 7. The local road network should have a reduced traffic flow as people switch to train or bus to go to Taunton or Exeter. 8. Generally the station would connect the local economy, people and promote a sense of community and belonging in Wellington. I am from the east Midlands where a local line was opened a decade or so ago, for a while it was a loss maker, but now is over subscribed as houses and businesses have begun to use it regularly. Come on Wellington lets strive for a greener futuristic transport connection! Lets be an innovative - green - sustainable Transition Town that IS and continues to be a pleasant place to live. A model town for others...why not?
I think opening a railway station in Wellington is a FANTASTIC IDEA! for a number of reasons; 1. Wellington is growing, will continue to grow (like it or not) and needs quick economical alternative access to Taunton and Exeter for commuters. 2. Would increase tourism visits, especially to the Monument, market town shops, Farmers Market, Museum, Food Town events that we promote. 3. Would reduce the towns carbon emissions. 4. The world is running out of oil and we all need and will be be forced to use communal transport to get about (either by bus or train). 5. Older, disabled and not everyone can use a car, so trains and buses help keep people connected. 6. The local environment would become more healthy for wildlife and nicer to live in. 7. The local road network should have a reduced traffic flow as people switch to train or bus to go to Taunton or Exeter. 8. Generally the station would connect the local economy, people and promote a sense of community and belonging in Wellington. I am from the east Midlands where a local line was opened a decade or so ago, for a while it was a loss maker, but now is over subscribed as houses and businesses have begun to use it regularly. Come on Wellington lets strive for a greener futuristic transport connection! Lets be an innovative - green - sustainable Transition Town that IS and continues to be a pleasant place to live. A model town for others...why not? robinpayne
  • Score: 0

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